Any plastic for a soldering jig?

For my modeling I often have to solder brass parts and pieces together. For something complex I'm likely to make a jig to hold the pieces (which can be
as small as 1/32" diameter by a few 32nds of an inch long). For a Q&D one-time jig, I often use balsa but have recently started to use scrap red oak because it's significantly harder and can take the heat better. But there are many times I feel that I really need a material with no grain to have to fight in cutting, chiseling, and drilling. Are there any plastics that can withstand the heat of a conventional soft-soldering operation, say 300-475 F for short periods without distorting or giving off dangerous fumes?
TIA Norm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Norm, although I cannot remember the name, maybe I'll tickle some others' recollections.
There exists a "solderer's fixturing putty" that is designed for just that purpose. It's a fairly stiff-bodied substance (about like cold plasticine) with good insulating properties that will handle the heat. I may be wrong, but I think I remember it's available in temperature ratings up to silver-solder red.
LLoyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I should have added that phenolics are well-suited to soft-solder temperatures, if you need a rigid substance.
They'll stink, but won't burn fast; nor do they tend to swell quickly, and they will not melt at all.
Fiberglass reinforced phenolic should be perfect for the job, if a little hard on your modeling tools. It's available in a "grainless" variety with the fibers randomly mixed in, instead of as fabric mats in layers.
LLoyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Norm Dresner wrote:

Teflon! it decomposes above 450 C, which is 842 F. Especially if you can obtain scrap pieces of teflon sheet, that should be real good.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jon Elson wrote:

I do not think you will ENJOY the fumes from the teflon once you get it hot enough to decompose. It does come to mind as a high temp plastic though. Pete
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Half-Nutz wrote:

The fumes are pretty deadly,so if you use a torch or soldering iron with a very high and uncontrolled tip temperature, it would be a VERY bad idea. I should have said to ONLY use Teflon with a soldering iron with a temperature control, and maybe not go over 650 F with it.
Jon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The gas liberated by overheated teflon is phosgene, which is a blood agent like HCN. That said, teflon is used as the tip for soldersuckers like the "Soldapullt", and teflon-bushed turrets have been used as solder terminals in one technique for constructing electronic stuff for MIL and aerospace. http://www.greateasternmetalproducts.com/Catalog/pdf/pg6.pdf
The teflon tip on my Soldapullt is at least 30 years old and still in good shape. I used it a lot years ago with a Weller iron having 800F tip temperature. (I now have a better soldering iron.)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Some plastics have complicated chains , PolyStyrene PS is benzene ring ( polyfoam) ..gasolene and Toulene disolve it ...
Teflon is the simplist , a carbon backbone with FLORINE . Each C has 2 FL ...
You dont want to do anything with florine .......
I have yet to find a use for T'
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Norm Dresner wrote:

Bakelite along with its relative Micarta were used extensively for heat-resistant applications, like frying pan plugs and sockets. Just don't drop, they're brittle. You also get formaldehyde fumes if overheated.
Stan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

Rock maple is traditional, and is effectively grainless.
Home Despot carries a softer kind of maple that ought to work.
Poplar is also a possibility.
Joe Gwinn
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote: | | > For my modeling I often have to solder brass parts and pieces together. For | > something complex I'm likely to make a jig to hold the pieces (which can be | > as small as 1/32" diameter by a few 32nds of an inch long). For a Q&D | > one-time jig, I often use balsa but have recently started to use scrap red | > oak because it's significantly harder and can take the heat better. But | > there are many times I feel that I really need a material with no grain to | > have to fight in cutting, chiseling, and drilling. Are there any plastics | > that can withstand the heat of a conventional soft-soldering operation, say | > 300-475 F for short periods without distorting or giving off dangerous | > fumes? | | Rock maple is traditional, and is effectively grainless. | | Home Despot carries a softer kind of maple that ought to work. | | Poplar is also a possibility. |
Since I have a fairly large amount of Basswood around, I've also used that, but it's heat resistance isn't as good as the red oak. I'll go up to the hardwoods shop in the area and see what small pieces I can find of dense woods.
Thanks Norm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Check out http://www.freemansupply.net/products.htm
I've used their "die plank" for thermoforming molds. Easy to machine/carve/drill, will take the heat.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I like holding small and odd ball solder joints with a wad of plumber's putty. I've not ever had it burn, but it is sure cheap and easy to replace if you have a problem. It works well for me to position pieces.
___________________________ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
|I like holding small and odd ball solder joints with a wad of | plumber's putty. I've not ever had it burn, but it is sure cheap | and easy to replace if you have a problem. It works well for me | to position pieces. |
I had the occasion the other day to need to make about 2' of scale railings our of brass wire in 4" or so sections. When I do mast eye bands for ships I usually need at least two and sometimes three at a time. While I'm not in a production environment by any means, having something that will be able to make up to 4-6 items is the lifetime of the jigs I want.
I'm going to try to use Sculpy by making one piece, pressing it into the Sculpy, and then baking in. It's not all that robust in small sections but might be sufficient for my needs.
Norm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Norm,
Sculpy is PVC with calcium carbonate filler. It will gas off badly under soldering temperatures, yielding HCl gas that is very unpleasant to sniff.
LLoyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| > I'm going to try to use Sculpy by making one piece, pressing it into the | > Sculpy, and then baking in. It's not all that robust in small sections | > but | > might be sufficient for my needs. | | Norm, | | Sculpy is PVC with calcium carbonate filler. It will gas off badly under | soldering temperatures, yielding HCl gas that is very unpleasant to sniff. | | LLoyd
OOPS!!
Many thanks for the warning.
L N
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi, Norm. I own an electronic assembly service with a wave solder machine that uses pallets to carry circuit boards through the molten solder wave. The only material that can be used for the pallets is fiberglass material. There are several types, but since we don't do any new work using through-hole components, we haven't had any new pallets made in years. Any type of "plastic" will quickly deform or melt with the heat necessary to melt solder.
I have discovered that the readily available "JB WELD" epoxy will withstand multiple passes through our convection oven used to melt solder paste for surface mount products. I build board carriers out of scrap circuit board material to carry odd sized boards through the oven. They are assembled using JB WELD epoxy and have held up for several years use.
You might try making a flat panel of JB WELD, letting it harden, and then machining it to make your jigs.
Don't know if this helps, but hope it does.
Paul
Norm Dresner wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| Hi, Norm. | I own an electronic assembly service with a wave solder machine that | uses pallets to carry circuit boards through the molten solder wave. | The only material that can be used for the pallets is fiberglass | material. There are several types, but since we don't do any new work | using through-hole components, we haven't had any new pallets made in | years. Any type of "plastic" will quickly deform or melt with the heat | necessary to melt solder. | | I have discovered that the readily available "JB WELD" epoxy will | withstand multiple passes through our convection oven used to melt | solder paste for surface mount products. I build board carriers out of | scrap circuit board material to carry odd sized boards through the | oven. They are assembled using JB WELD epoxy and have held up for | several years use. | | You might try making a flat panel of JB WELD, letting it harden, and | then machining it to make your jigs. | | Don't know if this helps, but hope it does. | | Paul
In addition to about 5 different flavors of epoxy (including JB Weld) I have several kinds of casting resin as well. I've got enough casting scrap to put an iron against it and see if it will survive. If it does, I can either make a sheet of resin and carve it or carve a jig out of clay (probably Sculpy since it hardens well) and then make a mold of the jig and cast it.
Norm
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You could use heat-blocking putty, as used in welding:
http://store.weldingdepot.com/cgi/weldingdepot/HANDIJIG.html?id=LtBtgJux
<quote> An easy to mold dual purpose compound that is used as a heat dam and insulator to protect metal and other material from the effects of heat. The dough like consistency of Handy-Jig makes it easy to mold around intricate parts. It will adhere to most surfaces making it ideal for use as a jigging fixture or insulator for parts to be welded. Handi-Jig will not distort or shrink when heated. Asbestos Free - Does not contain any toxic elements Maintains shape when heated. Withstands temperatures to 3000 Deg F. Can be reconstituted with water for reuse. Heat sink to absorb Heat
</quote>
$18 for 2lbs (plus shipping)
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Norm Dresner wrote:
snip
Are there any plastics

What you want is an easily carved and sanded thermoset plastic called REN. No nasty fumes. You probably want REN 450, but any one of them will do. They're designed to be easy to cut and sand, yet strong and grainless. REN has largely replaced wood for patterns.
Bill already mentioned http://www.freemansupply.net/products.htm
That is a place to get REN.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.